New house disliked by planning chiefs gets green light

Springfield House, Wilburton, to be replaced by design on the right

Springfield House, Wilburton, to be replaced by design on the right - Credit: Archant

A replacement house on a smallholding criticised by planning officers for being “dominant and uncharacteristic” and recommended for refusal was allowed.  

East Cambridgeshire District Council planning committee voted 6-3 in favour of the house that will be built at Springfield House, Twentypence Road Wilburton.  

Springfield House was sold at auction three years ago for £254,000 and included two acres of land and a two-bedroom house described as “in need of complete renovation”. 

Plans for a replacement house were submitted a year ago and after some debate, the committee agreed them.  

Officers thought there were good reasons why the application should be turned down. 

Springfield House, Wilburton, to be replaced

Springfield House, Wilburton, to be replaced - Credit: Archant

They claimed the new house would be 30m from the footprint of the existing house and would be located in an area of the site historically been used for agricultural purposes. 

They claimed it did not form part of the existing curtilage and the height of the new house would be “significantly higher creating a dominant and uncharacteristic dwelling within a countryside setting”.  

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Officers also thought the design failed to “reflect the rural location and the scale is considered to be excessive when considered as a replacement dwelling”. It is contrary to policy.  

"The proposed dwelling and garage by virtue of their scale, bulk, mass and design would not positively relate to the pattern of existing surrounding dwellings,” officers told the committee.  

“It would be harmful to the appearance of the area, which is open countryside.  

“The design does not reflect the traditional and generally modest dwellings along Twentypence Road, and also has no visual affinity with the dwelling which is to be replaced. “ 

And they concluded: “The visual harm of this dominant and urbanising dwelling weighs against the proposal to the extent that it would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits of a replacement.” 

Officers did except however that “the site itself is overgrown and in a poor state, with a number of older outbuildings in a poor state of repair”.  

The application was put to the planning committee after a ‘call-in’ requested by Cllr Lisa Stubbs. 

She felt the application merited “wider public debate”. 

There were no objections from neighbours, county highways or the parish council to the new house.